Dr. Barbara J. Kanninen

School Board Chair Barbara Kanninen

Barbara Kanninen joined the Arlington School Board on January 1, 2015 and currently serves as Liaison to the Advisory Council on Instruction, Joint Facilities Advisory Commission, and the Legislative Process.  Barbara has served as Chair and Vice Chair of the School Board, as well as Chair of the Audit Committee, and Liaison to the Budget Advisory Committee, South Arlington Working Group, Whole Child Working Group, Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families, and Student Advisory Board.

Barbara knows that every child is more than a test score and is committed to expanding opportunities for all students to develop their critical thinking, creative, technical, and job skills. She believes teachers are the backbone of our schools and works hard to empower them, and she will continue to tackle rapid growth with constructive, positive community engagement. Barbara’s goal is to always focus on what matters most: supporting teachers and students in the classroom every day.

Barbara has been honored with a number of awards for her consistent commitment to educators and students, including the Arlington Education Association’s “Friend of Education” award and AGLA’s Equality award. In 2017, Washingtonian magazine named Barbara one of the Most Powerful Women in Washington.

In addition to her work on the School Board, Barbara is a Ph.D. environmental economist, children’s book author, and co-founder of the Youth Ultimate League of Arlington. She and her husband, Kevin have lived in Arlington for more than 25 years and have two sons, Fred and Markus, who were both K-12 Arlington Public Schools students.

Read Barbara’s July 2, 2018 Organizational Meeting remarks here.

Office Phone:  703-228-6015

Email: barbara.kanninen@apsva.us / school.board@apsva.us

Term expires December 31, 2022